Choreography for the Scanner

Choreography for the Scanner, 2015

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“This film creates unlikely partnerships between moving frames and paper images to explore a range of important questions related to memory and perception of dance, how dance is created, and who or what is dancing. Eqbal, acts as a Muybridge for our times, exploring not only how movements may be generated through contemporary image technologies, but also, what occurs between the frames. Choreography for the Scanner is a work engaged with the multiple histories of film, dance, and visual practices . . . whilst creating a new aesthetic experience of dance film that requires no prior knowledge of the genre to appreciate it. Choreography for the Scanner is a daring movie and its innovative concept shines through. . . . [W]ith skillful direction, the filmmaker creates a dance that prescinds the body of a dancer in movement. She makes use of static images of a ballerina to create a dance based on the illusion of movement in-between frames…and makes a ‘glitch dance’ emerge that is only possible on the screen.” — Short Film Winners of LIFF29- in Hull | Leeds International Film Festival


 

(click on image above to play video)
Single-channel video with sound
2 minutes 44 seconds
(headphones or speakers recommended)


 

Series of prints — selected frames from animation

 

Pose-to-Pose, Figure I
in-between frame – rotation
digital toner print on paper
11 x 20 inches

Pose-to-Pose, Figure I
in-between frame – horizontal

digital toner print on paper
11 x 20 inches

Pose-to-Pose, Figure II
in-between frame – vertical (compilation)
digital toner print on paper
11 x 24 inches

Pose-to-Pose, Figure III
in-between frame – horizontal

digital toner print on paper
11 x 24 inches


 

[…] ‘screen choreography by other means’, or what academic, filmmaker and writer Douglas Rosenberg has described as ‘not dance for the camera, but dance by the camera’. This strategy was evident in Mariam Eqbal’s first prize winning Choreography for the Scanner, and Eqbal capitalised on the potentials of technical innovation, using monochrome stills – manipulated by visual noise patterning, glitches, and jumps – as the works’ raw material. An initial image of an ever-smiling young female in a cinch-waisted, off-the-shoulder gown, transformed into a grotesquely distorted elongation of arms, hands and fingers, before proliferating into a mirror-matching row of two-headed cut-out paper doll-style figures. A triptych of another young female, posing for camera with balletically stylised hand positioning, head inclined at an angle and pointe shoe-clad feet, fluctuated skirt length as though in response to the distant, Hawaiian-tinged guitar accompaniment. The Jury statements noted that the work raised ‘important questions related to memory and perceptions of dance, how dance is created, and who or what is dancing’ and concluded that Eqbal had succeeded in creating ‘a work engaged with the multiple histories of film, dance and visual practices upon which screendance is built’. — Christinn Whyte, ‘Writing on Screendance and Moving-Image’